Picks made in the previous six CSNwashington.com NBA Mock Drafts were based on expectations and projections for each team. The same goes for the final version on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's big day. That's the norm indeed.
However, for this edition, a curveball. Essentially, I made the picks as I would make the picks without influence from the relentless rumor mill*. Simple enough. This includes the entire first round plus selected picks in the second round. The Wizards enter this week with the 19th and 49th overall selections.
Not everything changed with this alternate approach - Spoiler: Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns still goes No. 1 to Minnesota - but plenty of others swapped spots on the board.
Three things to consider with the Wizards selection:
- Considering the pieces on the roster, they can go with a "Best Player Available" philosophy. That's the case even if Paul Pierce doesn't return, though a stronger argument for frontcourt help, whether a stretch-4 (Bobby Portis?) or small forward (Justin Anderson?) surfaces at that point. Wing shooters (R.J. Hunter?), point/third guards (Jerian Grant?) and rugged bigs (Montrezl Harrell?) are also in play at 19. In case you missed, an NBA Draft analyst ranked 10 prospects with the Wizards situation in mind for CSNwashington.com.
- That said, there is logic in thinking the Wizards should go with a 4/5 considering the primary building blocks - John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter - are perimeter players. DeJuan Blair is the only interior option on the roster under 30, but he didn't play a second in the postseason. Portis, Harrell, UCLA's Kevon Looney and LSU's Jarell Martin are the likely targets with Kentucky's Trey Lyles and Wisconsin's Sam Dekker potential options should they slide.
- One thing to remember with any player the Wizards draft Thursday: Head coach Randy Wittman isn't always keen on using newbies in the regular rotation. Wittman values consistency and that's not always a strong suit for first-year players. Not that this selection is only about next season, but considering the Eastern Conference appears wide-open yet again, perhaps taking a prospect with more experience makes sense. Anderson, Grant, Harrell and Utah point guard Delon Wright qualify. Freshmen Kevon Looney and Rashad Vaughn do not.
* This isn't entirely true. While I'm not ready to concede Pierce is 100% out the door, the recent speculation hinting that he might head to the Clippers did influence my call for the Wizards. What can I say other than there are 4-6 guys that make sense at 19 and I might go another way if the Pierce buzz had him returning.
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